Our Christmas Tree

5 December 2020

This is written by a Turkish academic who is seeking refuge in Glasgow, and who was assisted along with his wife by volunteers from our Humans of Glasgow project. 

Our Christmas tree was brought to us by two angels from Positive Action in Housing . 

Holding a box under her arm, one of them introduced herself and her daughter. 

“My name’s Jelina. This is my daughter Aaliyah.”

Aaliyah was holding a bag full of Christmas tree decorations. Decorations of all kinds including bells, lights, baubles, toppers, tinsels… She was six or seven years old. 

This is one of the most amazing things that has happened in our lives. Contrary to what traditionally happens in usual life styles, an adorable kid was presenting a Christmas tree to two adults who were carried away by the childish excitement of getting their first ever Christmas tree. 

Isn’t life the most unpredictable thing? 

I have always wanted a Christmas tree since I first saw it in a Bugs Bunny cartoon when I was 6. In the county where I grew up, a Christmas tree wouldn’t be the first thing to be factored in family budgets by working class parents. 

Before yesterday, I might have dreamed of making a child happy with a Christmas tree. But as a 36 year old man, I could have never imagined that our hearts would be warmed by a Christmas tree given by a most adorable child. Life is simply being life with all its surprises. 

I feel so lucky and blessed to get the chance to see there are actually many good people in our world. 

Since I became an “asylum seeker”, I have met people with a heart of gold like Jelina and Aliyah whom even angels would envy. 

I have spent my entire life in schools studying and teaching. I had never imagined one day I would be an asylum seeker until I was forced to become one. I used to think that my life would go on around school and home. But life being life, I am now an “asylum seeker”. Life is teaching me about people and probabilities more than any school can afford to teach. Life is constantly proving that there are many more people with a heart of gold than I could ever imagine.

The more I meet those people, the more I cherish the joy of being alive. Each encounter with such an angel instills more love of life and hope in our tired souls. 

Having people like Jelina and Aliyah around us keeps our hope as resilient as an evergreen tree. 

We, too, have a Christmas tree now. Just like other families who have one. 

Unlike other Christmas trees, our tree makes a statement with all its glitter. It declares that our family is embraced by Christmas joy, too. It is a glowing beacon of hope signalling that good news is on the way. Our tree makes us feel at home. It reminds us that two angels volunteering from Positive Action drove 15miles to bring the Christmas joy and warm breeze of friendship to our humble abode. 

Thank you, Jelina! Thank you, Aliyah! Thank you, Robina! Thank you, all Positive Action in Housing Staff and Volunteers! Thank you, all people who have a heart of gold. Thank you to all angels whom we have met so far! We are so glad to have you! 

Merry Christmas, all!

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